I was a bit skeptical at first of an online course in social media fearing that I might not actually learn anything and it would just regurgitate information I had already learned or experienced. However, after a couple of moments of looking through the lessons and seeing how much information it had packed into it I was blown away. The dashboard for Hootsuite itself seemed a bit complex at first, having multiple outlets and what looked like the command center for a serious social media campaign as your homepage. Before I dived to heavy into the lessons I took to playing around in the dashboard trying to make some sense of all the options. It allowed for scheduled posts, detailed analytics, link shorting, other social media connections, and a slew of organization tools that I was not sure how to work yet.

After playing around with some of the tools and trying to get a brief idea of what I was working with on my own, I started the Hootsuite University program. The first lessons introduce you to the program and gives you an overview of why social media is important and what they do as a company. The introduction is a bit lengthy, but it does a good job explaining exactly what they are doing and I assume it is there to help people who are less tech/social media savvy. Each lesson has a series of videos that walk you through exactly what you can do in Hootsuite and the production of the videos where very well done. They explain everything with images, graphics, and smooth voice over that makes for an easy listen. What I feared, was a text heavy program, which was not at all what I faced. Hootsuite made it easy to learn their program and explained thoroughly with the use of their graphics and visually appealing videos.

Once I had completed the basic training for the program I moved on to the social media training portion. This was my least favorite part of the program, just because it seemed to reinforce a lot of ideas that we had already covered in the class or that I had previously learned. Despite my slight dislike for this portion, the facts that where covered peaked my interest. Since I have been building my own company and working with others, I have learned a lot of these topics at hand. Social media has already gotten me a ton of connections in the past and social selling has been my main point of sale.

Yet, one thing I had never done in the past was to create a content schedule or prepare an actual content strategy. I had always known that it would be best to prepare some sort of content but had never known how to start, so this lesson became the most useful for me. My content strategies previously had just been based on what myself or my business partner had preferred, or what had worked in the past. Hootsuite made me think to make a more unique selling point within my posts on social media. It taught me to have a goal with every social media post, whether that was to drive traffic to a website, gain following, or just to get more sales. Not only should I have goals for each post but these small goals should all work towards the larger picture of your business. They made it clear that you should know precisely who your customer is and what it is they want to see on their social media.

The lecture series portion was very comprehensive and packed a ton of information for the students to soak up. It was a lot to take in, but in a great way. It had a great amount of real world examples of businesses and how you can expand your business with social media. It was a very business oriented program, but the ideas and techniques taught in the program could easily be applied to those who just wish to expand their personal brand. I was surprised to see that it also taught you how to use Klout and had the CEO of the company in a couple of the video lessons. It was great to see them reaching out to influence brands within the realm of social media influence.

In the end, I think the program was a great opportunity to learn and expand my abilities to work in social media. The certification looks great and will be a perfect addition to my resume as a more eligible candidate for future job opportunities. I added the certification badge to my Linkden profile and completed filling in my information on the site in accordance to what I learned would be appropriate from the program. I would definitely suggest this class to people who wish to work with social media in the future, not only does it look good but you will actually learn something. I could see myself using Hootsuite to manage my social media for a business in the future because it is cheap and effective option that allows for you to grow your business. There is not much room for improvement, but I could suggest that they offer more classes. Hootsuite could expand and offer different types of certifications, there could be levels of advanced certificates that showed a specific learning in the program. One could have multiple certifications, learn more, and be more qualified to handle certain situations.



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